This study investigated cross-linguistically the temporal organization of short vs. long vowels (V vs. V:) with following lenis vs. fortis (C vs. C:) stops in disyllabic trochees in the three major varieties of Standard German (Austrian, German, and Swiss). A total of 51 speakers of the three varieties participated in a production and perception experiment. Acoustic analyses revealed that Austrian speakers take up an intermediate position regarding a stop duration contrast which was clearly present in Swiss but absent in German speakers. In perception, however,
Austrians and Germans but not Swiss participants judged stimuli from a vowel/(vowel+closure) duration (VC-ratio) continuum more often as containing V:C, i.e., intermediate VC-ratios were reinterpreted as long vowels by Austrians and Germans, but as fortis stops by Swiss participants. Findings suggest a sometimes less stable temporal organization in Austrians. Moreover, results imply a greater diversity in phonological structure between German varieties than previously assumed.